A new sport has transformed the sports recreation market in the
last five years.
Pat Aasen, a manager at Sherpers, 225 W. Wisconsin Ave., and
Steve Loehner, a manager at Clear Water Outdoor, 803 Genesee
Street, Delafield, have seen the rise of stand-up paddle
“Depending on who is doing the survey they’re saying it’s the
fastest growing outdoor activity in the Midwest,” Loehner said.
Loehner said paddle boarding is gaining popularity because of
its varying intensity. Paddle boards have surpassed kayaks to be
the most popular items in the Delafield shop.
Aasen has also seen an increase in paddle board sales in
Oconomowoc, but said kayaks are still just as popular.
To increase popularity and attract new customers, Sherpers
offers a variety of demo days, where they take models down to
the lakefront and offer the opportunity to try out the product
before a purchase.
Sherpers also offers kayak, canoe and paddle board rentals as
The local difference
One of the things separating these stores from big-box
alternatives is the ability to retain stock after a seasonal
Aasen said the store owner frequently stores excess summer stock
on the floor above the storefront, allowing products to be
accessed year round. She added the store doesn’t frequently
suffer from a lack of customers because of a season change.
Loehner mirrored Aasen’s comments on a returning customer base.
However, he added poor weather can suppress sales, calling this
past spring disappointing.
The ability to cater to customer needs and to connect to the
customer base and develop recurring relationships have also
separated these stores from the big-box ones.